Bath & Laundry

What Are Dryer Balls And How Do They Work?

What Are Dryer Balls And How Do They Work?
At a Glance

Like dryer sheets, dryer balls are used in the dryer with your wet clothes. But what is their purpose, and are they better than other options?

Quick Tips
  • Use dryer balls over dryer sheets and fabric softeners to free your laundry from chemicals.
  • Know the quality of each material type.
weavvehome wool dryer balls

Featuring Weavve’s Wool Dryer Balls

If you’ve recently owned a dryer, you are more than likely to be familiar or are using the traditional fabric softener or even dryer sheets. However, have you heard of the other alternative, dryer balls? Similar to dryer sheets, dryer balls are balls that you use in the dryer along with your wet clothes. However, what exactly is the purpose of a dryer ball? Are they really better than other alternatives? In this article, we will be explaining everything you need to know about dryer balls and why you might prefer it over the other traditional alternatives.

What Are Dryer Balls?

Dryer balls are balls that help to dry clothes faster as it tumbles in the dryer with your wet clothes. It can be made out of different materials, with wool dryer balls being the most common material, while other dryer balls can also come in the form of plastic or rubber. On top of reducing the time it takes for your clothes to dry, dryer balls are one of the most eco-friendly products you can own and it beats out using other alternatives, such as dryer sheets and fabric softeners.

Which Dryer Ball Material Should You Use?

It is important to note that there is no absolute “best” material for dryer balls. One material may be more suitable for some people, while another may be more suitable for others. It is dependent entirely on your situation and preference.

weavvehome wool dryer balls

Featuring Weavve’s Wool Dryer Balls

To find out which material suits you the best, here are the qualities of each material and what they have to offer:

Wool Dryer Balls

  • Eco-friendly. Wool dryer balls are essentially balls made of condensed wool, which are natural fibres.
  • Unscented. Most wool dryer balls tend to have no additional fragrance, so it is perfect for people with sensitive skin, fragrance allergies, and even babies.
  • Customizable Scents. Since wool dryer balls come unscented, you can choose to add any essential oils of your choice to the ball, which allows your clothes to come out smelling heavenly.

Plastic and Rubber Dryer balls 

  • Ideal for Tough Stains. Unlike the smooth and roundness of wool dryer balls, plastic and rubber dryer balls are bumpy with small nodules sticking out of it. This design is meant to remove tough stains from clothes that wool dryer balls may not be able to achieve.
  • Allergy-Proof. For those with serious wool or fabric allergies, plastic or rubber dryer balls might just be a better substitute for you.
  • More Design Variation. With plastic and rubber dryer balls, it is a common trend for them to come in the shape of animals, which can be a great choice for gifting to oneself or to others.

What Are Dryer Balls Used For and How Do They Work?

A dryer balls’ purpose is to help reduce the time it takes to dry wet clothes while tumbling in the dryer. How it works is that during the drying process, the ball will bounce around in the dryer, creating air pockets between the clothes, which helps separate it and prevent them from being tangled and clumped together. When air is allowed to pass through between the clothes, the amount of surface area exposed to the hot air increases, and therefore speeds up the drying process. Additionally, there are other benefits dryer balls have, such as reducing lint, static, and wrinkles. 

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Featuring Weavve’s TENCEL™ Duvet Cover

You may be asking, how exactly do dryer balls reduce lint? Well, during the drying process, as the ball tumbles about the dryer, lint from your clothes will eventually stick to the ball due to the amount of friction caused from the frequent contacts between the ball and the clothes. This results in lesser amounts of lint remaining on the clothes, as well as reducing the amount being caught in the filter of the dryer.

Although dryer balls can reduce static up to a certain extent, wool dryer balls tend to reduce much more compared to plastic and rubber dryer balls. This is because when wool dryer balls are wet, moisture from the ball gets evaporated during the drying process, which creates steam. Steam prevents static from building up between the clothes, and therefore helps reduce the amount of static being produced.

Lastly, dryer balls can also decrease wrinkles and creases in your fabrics, as this is the result of the ball separating and declumping your clothes in the dryer when it bounces around. 

woman doing the laundryImage by Sarah Chai from Pexels

Steps - How To Use Dryer Balls

Here are 3 easy steps you can follow on how to use dryer balls:

  1. Toss the dryer balls in together with the laundry load. Depending on the size of the load, use between 2 to 5 dryer balls to ensure its effectiveness.
  2. Wool dryer balls are usually unscented, so if you wish for your clothes to smell fragrant, you can use any essential oil of your choice and add 1 to 3 drops to each ball before tossing it in with the load. Do ensure that the oil is properly soaked into the ball as you want to prevent any oil stains on the clothes.
  3. After you are done using the dryer balls:
  • For wool dryer balls, you would need to hand wash them in warm water to clean out any lint or pet fur that may be stuck to the surface of the ball, before air drying it and storing them for later use.
  • For plastic and rubber dryer balls, hand wash only if there are stains. Otherwise, you would only need to wipe or leave it to dry before storing.

hanging laundryImage by Skitterphoto from Pexels

What Does A Dryer Ball Substitute?

Today, dryer balls are one of the best substitutes for dryer sheets and fabric softeners. Using dryer balls can be much simpler and more energy efficient than its counterparts. The best dryer balls are usually the ones that can reduce the amount of time it takes for clothes to dry by around 25%, while also providing extra benefits such as being eco-friendly and energy saving.

Dryer Ball vs Dryer Sheets vs Fabric Softeners

Dryer sheets are small rectangular sheets made from polyester that contain fragrance chemicals which rub onto the clothes during the drying process. The main purpose of dryer sheets is to soften clothes, reduce static, and add fragrance to your clothes.

Meanwhile, fabric softeners come in the form of a liquid that contains chemicals which help soften clothes and reduce static cling. Unlike the other two alternatives, fabric softeners can be used for both washing and drying.

woman sorting the laundryImage by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

However, despite being similar in function, here are some of the reasons for why you should use dryer balls over dryer sheets and fabric softeners:

  • Longer Lifespan. Dryer balls have a significantly longer lifespan than dryer sheets, where they can last between 2-5 years with continuous usage, while dryer sheets have to be disposed of after a few uses. Fabric softeners on the other hand, require frequent status checks as it can start to break down after 6-12 months from the first time it is used.
  • Energy Saving. Since dryer balls can reduce the time it takes for clothes to dry, it also means that the amount of electricity and gas being used decreases, which results in more energy being saved in the long run. On the other hand, both dryer sheets and fabric softeners do not reduce the time it takes for clothes to dry at all.
  • Chemical-Free. Compared to dryer sheets and fabric softeners containing fragrance chemicals that can be harmful, dryer balls are mostly environmentally-friendly, with wool dryer balls being made of 100% natural fibres. This means that people with sensitive skin or allergic reactions would be better suited to use dryer balls than dryer sheets.

Can You Use Dryer Balls In The Washing Machine?

One common question everyone is asking is if you can use dryer balls in the washing machine, especially wool dryer balls. Simply, it is not recommended to use them in the wash, as the dryer balls would quickly become damaged and ineffective. As the name implies, dryer balls are not designed to be soaked in water as that will severely decrease its effectiveness when used in the dryer to dry your clothes. Dryer balls, especially ones made of wool, should be kept relatively dry before you use it in the dryer, as that is what reduces the time it takes to dry your clothes in the dryer.

Are Dryer Balls Bad For Your Dryer?

Unless these dryer balls are made of unsuitable materials like metal, other than the noise of tumbling, they will not cause any damage to your dryer. They are safe to use in both electric and gas dryers. However, when using plastic and rubber dryer balls, take note that there might be a lingering burnt smell in the dryer after the drying is done.



Weavve’s Wool Dryer Balls

weavvehome wool dryer balls

Featuring Weavve’s Wool Dryer Balls

Our dryer balls are made with 100% tightly packed natural wool, and acts as a natural alternative to dryer sheets and fabric softeners which contain harmful chemicals. These wool dryer balls can also help reduce your drying time by about 25%, consume less energy, and are environmentally friendly. They are built to last, and can be reused for up to 1,000 loads. Using our wool dryer balls is sure to make your clothes softer and less wrinkly.


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Mundo Eco-Detergent Sheets

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Featuring Mundo’s Eco-Detergent Sheets

Our brand partner, Mundo, is a Singapore-based business that wants to help others on their eco-journey. They provide affordable, eco-friendly, and plastic-free alternatives to everyday products to prove that a sustainable lifestyle is sustainable.

Mundo’s Eco-detergent sheets are the best plastic-free alternative to your traditional laundry detergent. The sheets are packed with ultra-concentrated cleaning power that will impress you while keeping our Earth happy. Not only is it gentle on the skin, but it also has excellent cleaning properties while being biodegradable and eco-friendly.


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Weavve’s TENCEL™ Lyocell Sheets

weavvehome TENCEL™ deluxe sheet set sky blue

Featuring Weavve’s TENCEL™ Bed Sheets Deluxe Set in Sky Blue

Our high thread count TENCEL™ Lyocell sheets stand out as they are extremely breathable, temperature regulating and absorbent. Our bedding is comparable to those from luxury hotel suppliers. So if you want your bed to have a similar feel to hotel bed linen material, TENCEL™ Lyocell sheets are a good choice.

With our high quality TENCEL™ sheets, you can be sure to stay cool throughout and have less worries over night sweats disrupting your sleep. Our bedding feels luxurious and smooth on the skin. With a silky smooth hand feel, it’s more gentle than regular cotton and bed linen. Making it beneficial for babies and those with sensitive skin or allergies.

Furthermore, our bed linens are also hypoallergenic. Soft as a cloud, light and breezy - just the perfect environment for a peaceful night of sleep. Our TENCEL™ sheets are Oeko-Tex® certified, certifying no harmful chemicals were used during production.


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Signature TENCEL™ Deluxe Set
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1 Fitted Sheet, 1 Duvet Cover, 4 Pillow Cases and 2 Bolster Cases